Bramble Cay Melomys - 1st Mammal Species Goes Extinct
The Bramble Cay Melomys lived only on a single island off Australlia. It is named after its home, Bramble Cay. The rodent is also called the mosaic-tailed rat. The island is barely a 10 feet or 3 meters above the sea level.
A scientists report states that the Bramble Cay Melomys seems to have disappeared from its habitat, Eastern Torres Strait of the Great Barrier Reef. The mammal was last seen in 2009 and since attempts to trap any (till late 2014) have failed. This has prompted the scientists to say it is likely extinct.Bramble Cay Melomys was first spotted by the Europeans on the island in 1845. By 1978, there were several hundred of these rodents. Climate change caused the part of island to shrink from 9.8 acres to 6.2 acres. This shrinking started since 1998. This caused a loss of 97% of the rodents habitat.
But since 1998, the part of the island that sits above high tide has shrunk from 9.8 acres to 6.2 acres (4 hectares to 2.5 hectares) which means the island's vegetation has been shrinking, and the rodents have lost about 97 percent of their habitat.
Ian Gynther and his team from Queensland's Department of Environment and Heritage Protection state:
They also add:
From 1901 to 2010, sea levels have risen around the by almost 8 inches (20 cm). While around Torres Strait, sea level rose at almost twice the global average rate between 1993 to 2014. Compared to the last 6,000 years, this rate has been exponential.
- Bramble Cay Melomys : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bramble_Cay_melomys
- Bramble Cay Survey Report : https://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/wildlife/threatened-species/documents/bramble-cay-melomys-survey-report.pdf